Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Embracing One's Self

Loving one’s body, and mind -- employing self-love is embracing one’s self.  That said; as modern people, we are often bombarded from every side by the media. It hits us with messages that say we are not enough -- not tall enough, or thin enough, not light enough, or tan or bronzed or black enough. The message sometimes is we’re not young, hip, or smart enough either.

Then if that’s not the case,  we may wind up receiving the same  message, but in reverse. We are too much. We are much too loud, too big --we're obese, or we're too old or too boisterous. It can even be suggested that we are much too under -- or over -- qualified. Wow! All of these mixed messages can weigh heavily on a person’s mind, whether or not they know it.

To tell you the truth, all of these mixed messages are the anti-thesis of embracing ourselves. They can even cause many to suffer from the misguided perception that they should become something more or something less. Then due to  this constant bombardment, one might slowly begin to pick themselves apart. They may begin with their skin, or their eye or hair color.

If this is where you find yourself, STOP. Right now. Choose to silence every voice of negativity.

Whenever you look at print ads or any type of media image, remember one thing.
Most of that slick glossy sh—well, that smooth but superficial hype is generated.  When you see a photo of someone who appears unbelievably unflawed, refuse that notion. Remind yourself that it takes teams of people to create the images that sometimes wreak havoc in the minds of real everyday people.

Remember that there are handlers, trainers, photographers, hair and makeup artists, as well as lighting specialists. There are wardrobe people, and stylists -- not to mention the computer whiz-kids who digitally work diligently on the very photos that can leave an everyday viewer’s self-esteem in tatters.

Friends and fam, today I remind you, and myself, that we cannot possibly live up to enviable media images. However, we can embrace ourselves. We can invest in ourselves, in things that will increase our joy, and our self worth. We can also get off the dizzying carousel of frivolous spending. We can keep or attain good credit.

We can choose to be grateful for what we already have, and quit seeking excess. We have our bodies and our minds, which we can nurture. We can offer ourselves more of what we need. If it’s sleep, or water, or healthier food choices, we should do that. If we need to make different or better choices in friends, we can do so. If someone brings us down, lose them -- quickly. Although we can’t pick our family, we can devise methods of dealing with those members whose only goal is to push all our buttons.

We can take time to deeply breathe. We can seek out people and experiences that empower.  And we do not have to prolong encounters with pesky neighbors or acquaintances. We can also choose clothing and footwear that comfortably fits. We can seek moments of contemplation and times for solitude. We can do this to regenerate, re-charge, and re-connect, with ourselves and our God. Then we can do something for someone else.  

My darlings, let us embrace ourselves for the multitude of things that we are, and forget the things that we are not. Look forward , to all that we have yet to become.

In parting, as always, I want you to live blessed. Ah, and today, don’t allow anyone to steal your joy!



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How Not To Look Old – I'm Reviewing the book

Written by Charla Krupp, the book  How Not To Look Old is chock full of fast and effortless ways to
look 10 years younger, 10 pounds lighter, and 10 times better -- exactly what it says on the cover. 254 pages, this guide begins with aging gracefully. Not 

Actually, the author speaks candidly about how aging can be a hard pill to swallow. She speaks of how women can discover things that seemingly pop up overnight -- like age spots, crow's feet, chin hair, sagging bazooms, and bunions! But don’t be alarmed, she says we can do something about those things and others. She also states we can look great doing so. 

So there I was, reading about the author’s proposed plan of attack on aging, and becoming more interested by the minute. That was because Charla advises us not to join those poor souls who have had entirely too many surgical procedures. Caught in the author's silken word web, I read that she had even tested goo-gobs of beauty products. Many of them are on prominent magazine's 'best of' lists. However, there was a catch. For the author to recommend any item, it had to deliver results, be easy to use, and not exorbitantly priced. I liked that.

Turning pages, I found that quickly I read all nineteen chapters -- which have great, simple, and often quirky titles like 'Unmatch Your Wardrobe' or 'Follow the Three-Bling Rule...' and I’ve got to tell you, there were times when I just burst out laughing! This author, editor, and motivational guru simply tells it like it is. Without sugarcoating stuff that we all face, she offers the old ways of achieving a look versus the new way -- which is most often her way, but that's okay. 

After finishing the book, I read a review of it and instantly knew those scathing words had been written by someone who was disillusioned. [Bitter was more like it.] The reviewer believed Charla Krupp advised readers to put themselves in categories, low, high, or no maintenance, and then spend accordingly. However, that is not what I took away from this book. I felt the same way another reader/reviewer did, like most of the suggestions offered happen to be things we most likely already know. Still, before reading the book we may not have been putting them into practice.  

For example, ridged, filthy or even discolored fingernails are a no-no. They need care. Like broken and stained teeth, they are not attractive and can diminish aspects of our appearance. Quite simply put, they make us look unprofessional and slovenly – my words. 

My darling beautiful friend,  
if you don't want to wind up looking like an old crone; if you want to laugh, or if you just want a little entertainment and fun while getting some really good tips from someone who has been everywhere in the beauty industry, then read this book. There are a heap of full-color photos -- some of multi-ethnic celebrities. There are anecdotes too. There are size guides, and tips to try. There are suggestions on shopping for just about anything female. So do enjoy.

As many of you who read me know, I always look for the pros as well as the cons. Yet with this book it was all pro. I found nothing that I would change. I simply thank the author and her staff for their time. I mean, to write a book is no simple task. As the author of good fiction I know. [Shameless plug for me, right? Hey, I’ve gotta do it. :) ] Anyway, I thank the author for her time and effort. I thank my library too, for initially loaning the hardcover to me. And now I’m grateful that there was bookseller to sell it to me. Perhaps one day soon you too will thank one or all of these people. 

Well...until next time my darlings, happy reading!